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Activists Want Greyhound To Not Allow Border Patrol Agents Onto Buses

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Immigrant advocates, along with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Bus Drivers Union, deliver 200,000 signed petitions to Greyhound Bus headquarters in downtown Dallas on Friday. As Stella Chavez from member station KERA reports, the group is demanding the company stop allowing Border Patrol agents onto their buses to question passengers about their citizenship.

STELLA CHAVEZ, BYLINE: Gathered in a downtown Dallas park, the protesters said Greyhound has the right to refuse Border Patrol agents from boarding their buses without a warrant or probable cause. The campaign, called Transportation Not Deportation, accuses Customs and Border Patrol agents of violating passengers' constitutional rights by asking that they prove their U.S. citizenship. In a speech to the crowd, Texas Democrat Joaquin Castro says the practice is happening in heavily Hispanic areas and beyond border checkpoints.

JOAQUIN CASTRO: Greyhound is doing something that they don't have to do. They're subjecting many of their passengers who have paid them a fare - they're subjecting them to warrantless searches, to racial profiling.

CHAVEZ: After a series of speeches, the group walked several blocks to Greyhound's headquarters, carrying boxes of signed petitions. Tricia Martinez, senior vice president for Greyhound's legal department, read a statement from CEO Dave Leach.

TRICIA MARTINEZ: CBP officers do not ask our permission to board our buses. We do not want to put our drivers' safety or our passengers at risk by attempting to stop a federal agent from conducting legal checks.

CHAVEZ: More protests are planned in the coming weeks. For NPR News, I'm Stella Chavez in Dallas.

(SOUNDBITE OF SAITO AND LESTER NOWHERE'S "GLARE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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